‘We are becoming the city of Ilkeston’

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CONCERNS have been raised about yet another huge housing development looming over the boundaries of Ilkeston.

The proposal to potentially build 500 homes at Hardy Barn near Shipley sparked outrage amongst local residents when first unveiled in 2010 leading them to launch campaigns to fight the plans.

And this week Ilkeston folk have also raised their own concerns about the impact it will have on our town.

Chris Hendrick, from Manor Floods Action Group in Ilkeston which is fighting controversial housing proposals in the town, questioned whether local councils were consulting with each other about their development sites.

He fears that these possible 500 homes near Shipley, along with housing on the American Adventure site, the two proposed developments in Manor Floods and Quarry Hill along with the Stanton site would stretch existing infrastructure to breaking point if they were all given the green light.

He told the Advertiser: “Have Erewash Borough Council considered what neighbouring local authorities like Amber Valley Borough Council are going to be doing and what impact their developments are going to have on our town?”

“With all the developments around here it is almost becoming the city of Ilkeston.

“There seems to be no plan and the infrastructure just isn’t there to support it. It’s just sprawling everywhere.”

But Steve Birkinshaw, head of planning at Erewash Borough Council, confirmed they were aware of neighbouring authority’s plans and stressed these were currently just possible locations for housing.

“There is a need for housing growth across the region, both in Erewash and other areas. We are in regular dialogue with Amber Valley Borough Council to maximise the benefits of growth and minimise any problems.”

Last week Amber Valley Borough Council considered a report based on feedback from 11 drop-in consultation events held around the borough, at which the public give their views about 14 potential housing sites including Shipley.

Leonie George, 45, of Breach Road, in Langley, is part of the Heanor Green Belt Action Group fighting the plans.

She said 490 objections were lodged over the site during the consultation period but the amount of objections was not mentioned in a report produced by the borough council about the site’s viability.

A spokesman for the group said: “There is no objective analysis of the information contained in the representations. Surely this is critical for a true and fair analysis.

“A response of 490 opinions is a significant reaction from the public that should be reflected in the report and reading through it, it appears that Amber Valley have tried to waterdown the public’s response.”

Cllr Stephen Hayes, speaking on behalf of Amber Valley Borough Council, admitted the move towards delivering a 15-year supply of homes was no easy one.

But he said: “The council has got to ensure that the amount of new housing can be provided to meet the borough’s current and future housing needs.”